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Aged, sick, and hairless cats and those with thinner coats are more susceptible to cold than other cats. Cats that have undergone surgery are also at greater risk. This is because of the anesthesia administered during surgery, which slows down blood circulation, heart rate, thereby causing low body temperature in cats.
Low body temperatures can lead to hypothermia in cats,
which can be serious and even fatal if normal body temperature is not restored
in time. The normal body temperature in cats is between 1000 F and
1020 F. Anything below this temperature is considered low body
Timely treatment can be life-saving for cats that
experience low body temperatures. It is therefore crucial to identify the signs
of low body temperature and take immediate remedial action.
Here are some key signs of low body temperatures in cats:
Your Cat is Shivering
Cats do not usually shiver. So, spotting shivering should
be easy. Shivering should be taken seriously because it is often the initial
symptom of hypothermia. Shivering occurs because cats contract their muscles to
keep themselves warm.
It is important to bring back your cat's body temperature
to a normal level as soon as possible. Otherwise, this condition can soon lead
to reduced blood flow and heart rate, and in the worst case, death.
Your Cat is Seeking
The first thing a cold cat does is to seek hot places to
keep itself warm. If your cat is lying on top of a radiator or resting next to
a fireplace, then he is probably cold.
Your Cat is Running
If you see your cat desperately seeking shelter under
blankets, beds, curtains, and cushions, then it could be cold. Just like human
beings, cats want to warm themselves up when they are cold, which is why they
resort to hiding under objects that can give them warmth.
If your cat keeps snuggling in your lap or spends a
majority of its time in heated places such as a vent, then your cat is most
Some cats may want to snuggle up their masters all the
time. If this behavior is normal with your cat, then he may not be cold. But if
he is snuggling up to you and seeking hotter places frequently and this is an
abnormal behavior for your cat, then warm him up immediately.
Abnormal Changes in
Touch the tips of the nose, ears, and tail, of your cat.
If they are cold to the touch, then your cat could be cold. Additionally, if
your cat seems lethargic, it is highly likely that your cat is cold.
Left unidentified, these symptoms could lead to more
serious symptoms, including shallow breathing and dilated pupils, in which case
you'll have to contact your vet immediately.
If you find your cat cold, take preliminary steps such as
draping him in a duvet. Protect him from the coldness of the floor with soft,
warm cushions. Using a thermal blanket is good.
Some preventive measures to protect your cat from cold include giving
him high-fat foods and removing mats regularly. A high-fat diet puts a thicker
coat on your cat, which provides good protection from cold. A cleaner matt-free
fur offers greater protection too.